Be wary of any movie in which the hero is monosyllabic and a stutterer at the same time. Buddy Boy is one of those snail-paced gothic art jobs, like Heavy or Twin Falls Idaho, in which scenes are allowed to dribble on unto eternity, mostly because the director is too in love with his own conceits. Francis (Aidan Gillen), the impossibly geeky and damaged protagonist, is a guilt-choked voyeur who peeps in on his luscious neighbor (Emmanuelle Seigner), gets lured into an affair with her, and then discovers — or is he just nuts? — that she’s not the sweet, nurturing vegetarian he thought she was.
Gillen might be playing Norman Bates after he’d been institutionalized. The movie has a few cut-rate gross-outs, but its slack, lugubrious atmosphere of baroque decadence isn’t tricky or original enough to keep us off guard for long. The writer-director, Mark Hanlon, rehashes some of the more obvious tropes from Rear Window, Eraserhead, The Tenant, and even Throw Momma From the Train, with Susan Tyrrell, squawking like a banshee, as Francis’ grotesquely slatternly, one-legged stepmom. C-